That goes double for video podcasters and anyone who regularly posts videos to YouTube, Instagram (IGTV), Facebook and other social media outlets.
Video conferencing has been a business tool of telecommuters for several years now, but with millions of people working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more popular now than ever. So popular, in fact, that many video conference providers are offering free services for an extended period of time. These include, among others, Zoom, Cisco’s WebEx, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft’s Skype.
Working from home isn’t just for all of us regular folk trying to do our 9-to-5 jobs, even guests on the news, newscasters themselves and late night television show hosts are working from home and broadcasting from their home offices, and kitchens (even their bathrooms) to tens of millions of us.
While celebrities can get away with pretty much anything, your bosses, colleagues and clients may not appreciate a video conference with you soaking in the tub. Less terrible than bubbles, a cluttered or messy background will serve as a distraction (and likely topic of conversation among your co-workers after the call). You’re not a celebrity; you have to do better.
While we all hope and expect this current situation to resolve itself quickly so we can get back to life as normal, it’s likely that video conferencing and telecommuting will become even more entrenched in our work lives and become routine for millions more of us.
Video calls will likely permanently replace a large number of long distance / overnight sales calls and short visits to corporate headquarters on the other side of the country.
So, some helpful advice for the new normal:
Do yourself and the company you represent a favor and make sure you’ve got a professional looking background when you’re video conferencing.
You’ll certainly want to make sure that your video background is as polished as you are.
Who would you rather be doing business with? In a video conference, it’ll make a huge difference.
At a minimum, make sure it’s clean and tidy. Additionally, you may want to remove any items of a particularly personal nature. Crayon pictures done by your kids are fun and heartwarming, but might not convey the professional “I really am getting a lot of work done from home,” image you want to get across to your company or your customers.
If you have a dedicated home office, then it’s pretty easy to make sure you’ve got a clean and tidy background… but is it boring? Does it really represent you and the company you work for? Will it impress your clients or anyone else on the other side of the webcam?
Why not go to the next level with your video calls and install a custom background mural that really broadcasts the impression you want to make. Maybe it’s something as simple as your company logo in your company’s colors. Maybe it’s a mural depicting your product or services? Or maybe it’s a little more subtle (and decorative) and just meant to send the message of “success.”
Our expert designers can create a custom background mural of any size that incorporates your logo, trademarks and any other digital assets your company might want you to use. And if you’re with a small business and don’t have those things, we can create them for you. Not only do we have talented graphics artists on staff, but we also have access to stock photo and image sites that can likely serve your needs.
For numerous reasons, you might not want to go as far as outfitting your home office to look like you’re in a corporate video conference room? There can be certain advantages to letting those on the other side realize you’re working from home.
Indeed, for many professions and/or industries, it might be overkill to have your home office appear too corporate. In that case, give yourself a beautiful scene to look at that will make you happy and comfortable as you work from home. It might be the mountains or the beach, the city or the country, or any other place you might rather be.
Or, something really amusing to break the ice when your making those initial introductions for the call participants.
It’s your space. Do what you want with it. Click here for hundreds of ideas.
If you’re a video podcaster, you’ll need to step things up a bit. After all, that video IS your service. So make the background something that will stand out and reinforce your brand.
Of course, not everyone is going to be working from home all of the time. Chances are good that a number of people on the video conference are at their desks or in a conference room or dedicated office space specifically equipped for video conferencing.
The trend today, after much experimentation with “open offices,” is to have dedicated spaces for video calls so co-workers are neither distracted nor distracting.
Finally, you might not find that you’re making so many video calls that you want a dedicated backdrop on your wall all of the time. For those “when you really need it moments,” we offer custom-sized banners that can be hung on the wall and removed when no longer needed. Simply hang them by the grommets when needed and take them down and roll them up when not. Contact us here and we’ll help you out.
We’re Magic Murals.
We’ve got you covered.
A banner like this could be hung from a curtain rod whenever you need a better background.
If a chroma key green screen is what you need for “on the fly” background changes, including sharing your computer screen in the background as you speak, we’ve got you covered there too. Our green screen video backdrop is available in any size you want.
While some video conferencing software allows you to change backgrounds, they don’t have the quality or versatility of a true green screen.
Now this is a video conferencing background that makes a great impression. This is in a multipurpose space at Barron Custom Design in Austin, TX (where else?). And, of course, the first question asked is “Did you make that?” And the answer is “We sure did. So let’s talk about what we can do for you.” Art by Barron Custom Design; Mural by Magic Murals.